Corporate Leaders Like the Way They Lead

The Tato-NanoI read a really thought provoking article this week in the Harvard Business Publishing website, Is the Tata Nano Really “The People’s Car”? written by Scott Anthony.  He speaks about the possibility that the Tata Nano – the so-called people’s car in India that will be priced as low as $2000, may possibly turn out to be a flop.  And if this happens it would be because the product may have been created without looking at the world through the consumer’s eyes.  As the article says, we would think that those families who are precariously perched on a scooter, zooming dangerously in between cars, will surely flock to an affordable car that projects social status and provides a safe, comfortable ride?  It appears, however, that they could already get a reasonable used car for the price of a Nano. And they choose not to.

The article goes on to say that ‘anyone who has driven in India knows there is a remarkable efficiency on her chaotic streets. Every square inch of road gets used as scooters sneak in between gaps between cars. It maximizes people per square mile in a way that boxy automobiles never could. Turning all of those scooters into Nanos would create a traffic nightmare.’

This got me thinking about leadership development specialists, like myself.  It would seem, from speaking to many talented people who offer leadership development, that convincing leaders that they could possibly enhance profits by upgrading and revisiting their leadership skills, is a hard sale.  The majority don’t truly want it. So perhaps we are not listening to our consumer?

Perhaps if we looked at the world through the eyes of corporate leaders we would see that they like the way things are; they like the way they lead even though it creates crises and chaos and even though there may be a better way.

So this raises the question – if leaders prefer to precariously zoom from one leadership-created crisis to another, what is it about leadership development specialists that makes us so passionate about wanting to convince them to try another approach?  Perhaps we need to listen to our customer and really hear them.  With some exceptions, they seem to be telling us that they like the way they lead… and when they don’t they will call us.

But let’s go back to the Tato Nano.  The story is even more fascinating.  Tata Sons President and Chairman, Ratan Tata, boldly proclaimed his intent to build the people’s car more than five years ago. That pronouncement captured the attention of other automobile executives, some of whom began busily planning their own low-priced automobiles. Carlos Ghosn from Renault, for example, announced this week that his company plans to introduce a car that will be even cheaper than the Nano.

Time will tell as to whether the strategy of the Tato Nano will be a huge success or not.

And time will tell whether leaders ever truly embrace leadership development or not.

Are you ready to make that necessary change?  If so, please contact me to discuss this further.

I recommend that you download my free eBook also.  “Using the Power of a Vision to MOve Your Company Through the Recession”Using the Power of a Vision to Move Your Company Through the Recession

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